How to Honour the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most of us who are Boomers can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when it was announced that, tragically,  Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. While I was just a young child at the time, I do remember how devastated people were by the news. Yet, inspired by MLK’s dream for a better world, people continued to fight for equal rights for blacks and all people of colour. If the horrific events of the last couple of years have anything to teach us, it is that now more than ever we must renew our resolve to work for justice for everyone who suffers from discrimination, whether it be because of the colour of their skin, their race or religion, their gender or sexual orientation, their age or differing abilities, their economic or social class.

As Boomers and older adults we still have a role to play in this fight. We can act as witnesses to the powerful legacy that Martin Luther King Jr. left us. We can share our stories with the young people in our lives. We can read aloud his “I Have a Dream” speech and invite them to consider how together we can carry on the work of this great man.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.”

Now in the second half of life, many of us are in a unique position to give back to our churches and our communities. If MLK were among us he would be the first to remind us that there is something more important than bread and cars and air-conditioned rooms and that the world needs us. It is never too late to think about what our legacy will be to the generations that follow us. Not sure where you can best serve? Check out Volunteer Canada.   In London, Ontario, you can also check out Volunteer London. But wherever you live, you can find information from your local municipality about the various organisations that desperately need your help. Don’t forget that churches and faith communities need good volunteers as well, as does your local school.

Remember: You can make a difference. Why not honour the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and start today!

Let’s Try to ELIMINATE THE ‘AFTER’S’ FROM OUR LIFE!

A friend sent this to me the other day. The author is unknown but the words are so powerful I have decided to share them with you in today’s blog post.  Hope you find them as helpful as I have!

 “Barely the day started and

it’s already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday

and it’s already Friday.

.. and the month is already over.

.. and the year is almost over.

.. and already 40, 50 or 60 years

of our lives have passed.

.. and we realize that we lost

our parents, friends.

.. and we realize it’s too late

to go back.

So.. Let’s try, despite

everything, to enjoy

the remaining time.

Let’s keep looking for

activities that we like.

Let’s put some color in

our grey.

Let’s smile at the little

things in life that put

balm in our hearts.

And despite everything,

we must continue to enjoy

with serenity this time we

have left.

Let’s try to eliminate the

afters..

I’m doing it after.

I’ll say after.

I’ll think about it after.

We leave everything for

later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don’t

understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee

gets cold.

afterwards, priorities change.

Afterwards, the charm is

broken.

Afterwards, health passes.

Afterwards, the kids grow up.

Afterwards parents get old.

Afterwards, promises are

forgotten.

Afterwards, the day becomes

the night.

Afterwards, life ends.

And then it’s often too late.

So.. Let’s leave nothing for

later.

Because still waiting to see

later, we can lose the

best moments, the best

experiences, best friends,

the best family.

The day is today. The

moment is now.

We are no longer at the

age where we can afford

to postpone what needs

to be done right away.”

It Looks Like An Eternity,

But It’s A Short Trip,

Enjoy Life And Always

Be Kind. 

  • Author Unknown

A PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR

I pray that your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were happy and meaningful, even though it was necessary, again this year, to keep the festivities quieter and more intimate.

Recently I have been reading a wonderful book by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal, Wise Aging. Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit. While the authors draw mostly from their background in Jewish wisdom, they also reflect on Christian and Buddhist traditions, making their book ideal reading for Boomers and older adults of many different backgrounds.

One ritual they recommend is one that I have decided to make my New Year’s practice this year. It’s based on the Jewish bedtime Sh’ma or prayer, which invites us to examine our conscience at the end of the day and reflect on our frustrations, or the hurts that we have experienced (or inflicted) and how these have impacted our relationships.  By fully forgiving those who have hurt us, either intentionally or unintentionally, and by acknowledging our own failings and weaknesses, we are ready for our evening rest and able to look forward to a new day and a new beginning.

Why not give it a try before you close your eyes tonight?

I now forgive
all who have hurt me,
all who have done me wrong;
whether deliberately or by accident,
whether by word or by deed, or by thought.
whether against my pride, my person, or my property
in this incarnation or in any other. May no one,
be punished on my account.

May it be Your will, Eternal One, My God and the God of my parents, that I be no more bound by the wrongs which I have committed, that I be free from patterns which cause pain to me and to others, That I no longer do that which is evil in Your sight.   May past failings be wiped away in Your great compassion, Eternal One, And may they no longer manifest through pain and suffering.

Let my words, my thoughts, my meditations, and my acts flow from the fullness of Your Being, Eternal One, Source of my being and my Redeemer. AMEN.